Bitcoin fell below the US$22,000 support line in Thursday morning trading in Asia, with Ether and most other leading cryptocurrencies losing ground after U.S. crypto bank Silvergate said it will voluntarily liquidate. The bank has teetered on the brink of insolvency for weeks, becoming another victim of the FTX exchange collapse last November. Solana led the losers among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and the total industry capitalization fell under US$1 trillion. XRP rose. U.S. equities closed mixed on Wednesday, unnerved by the prospect of interest rates moving higher than expected this year.

See related article: Silvergate teeters as regulators circle and crypto firms cut ties

Fast facts

  • Bitcoin fell 2.34% in the past 24 hours to US$21,729 as of 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data, bringing its loss for the last seven days to 8.06%. However, the biggest token by market capitalization is still up more than 30% for the year so far after a strong start to 2023 following the slump last year amid crypto industry bankruptcies and scandal.
  • Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, fell 1.99% to US$1,535, bringing its weekly loss to 7.55%. Though, like Bitcoin, it’s holding gains for the year so far, up 28%. 
  • Solana led the losers, falling 8.86% to US$18.49 to post a seven-day loss of 17.49% 
  • XRP continued its upward trend despite the Silvergate Bank woes in the broader market, rising 2.69% to US$0.39. Stuart Alderoty, the chief legal officer of XRP-powered crypto payment network Ripple Labs, tweeted on Wednesday that the court supported some of Ripple’s defenses in the lawsuit brought against the company by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “We have always felt confident about our case and with each ruling, even more so,” said Alderoty in the tweet. The token gained 2.50% over the seven-day period.
  • Shiba Inu dipped 0.55% in the past 24 hours, but still managed to unseat Litecoin as the 10th largest non-stablecoin cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The price of the meme token briefly surged on Wednesday, following an announcement that Shibarium – a Shiba Inu layer-2 blockchain for Web3 and gaming — will launch its beta version this week.
  • Silvergate Capital Corp. announced on Wednesday it intended to shut down its operations and liquidate Silvergate Bank, a California-based lender that served the crypto industry, due to the mounting financial losses and regulatory investigations it faces.
  • The total crypto market capitalization dropped 2.26% in the past 24 hours to US$995.70 billion. Total trading volume over the last 24 hours dipped 0.43% to US$44.50 billion.
  • U.S. equities traded mixed on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.18% lower, the S&P 500 edged up 0.14%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.40%.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress on Wednesday that the central bank has not decided on the size of the interest rate hike expected at the bank’s meeting later this month, but will assess the latest economic data on inflation first. Powell said on Tuesday that steeper interest rate hikes might be needed to reduce inflation, sparking a sell off in U.S. equities the same day.
  • U.S. job data released on Wednesday suggests inflation remains entrenched, with private employers adding 242,000 jobs in February 2023, beating the Reuters expectation of 205,000, according to a report by Automatic Data Processing.
  • The Fed has raised U.S. interest rates eight times since March 2022, with the current rate between 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest since October 2007. Analysts at the CME Group expect a 21.4% chance that the Fed will raise rates by another 25 basis points this month. They also predict a 78.6% chance for a raise of 50 basis points, an increase from 69.8% on Wednesday.

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